*This devotion was taken from the devotions Pastor Frankie is writing on Psalm 23 and mailing to the children of EVNaz on a weekly basis. These devotional books can be found at www.evnaz.org/kidsmatterministries.
“your rod and your staff, they comfort me” Psalm 23:4b
In the Middle East the shepherds carried only a rod and a staff. The rod was like an extension of the owner’s right arm. It showed strength and was used to protect himself and his flock. He also used it to discipline the sheep when they were trying to wander away.
Because of this the owner's rod would become a comfort to the sheep knowing his rod was used to protect them. The shepherd's rod demonstrated authority, power and protection.
The shepherd's rod can be identified to us as God’s Spoken Word, the Holy Bible. For David’s sheep there was comfort and support in seeing the rod in the shepherd’s skillful hands, so for us today there is great assurance in our hearts by the power vested in God’s Word. In every situation and every circumstance there is comfort and peace in knowing that God’s Word can help us in every difficult situation and we can rely on it. We can count on it!
The staff was used for guiding sheep. It was also used for drawing sheep together or gently lifting a newborn lamb and bringing it to its mother if they were separated. It is also used to reach out and catch individual sheep, young or old, and bring them close to the shepherd for examination. The staff would reassure the sheep of its proper path.
It can be the same with us. Many times, when we want to do things our way and we keep pushing ourselves into bad situations, our Shepherd comes to us. He draws near and tenderly lifts us by His Spirit out of our bad situations. We have a God who is patient with us and forgives us when we ask.
The staff comforts us too. The Holy Spirit is our comforter!
Thank you for being my Shepherd. Thank you for giving me Your Holy Word, the Bible. Thank you for caring about me. Your rod and staff comfort me.
In Jesus name, Amen